TV | 'Terrace House Tokyo 2019-2020' Recaps

Ep. 4 'I Want to Be a Hero'

by Alyssa I. Smith

Staff Writer

Drama has come to “Terrace House” and we have Risako and Ruka to thank.

We continue right where the last episode left off, with Ruka driving Haruka home after picking her up in Yoyogi. This is Ruka’s chance to break the ice and he’s doing a smashing job — it turns out they’re both gearheads with a soft spot for foreign cars and Harley Davidsons.

Ruka doesn’t work up the courage to ask Haruka out, though, instead mumbling something about forgetting what he wanted to ask her. Smooth, dude. Luckily for him, Haruka tells Kaori that she had a lot of fun talking to Ruka and gushes over how he’s the easiest to talk to of the three male roommates. “I vibe with him the most,” she says.

The next day, Ruka and Haruka find themselves alone again, this time on the living room couch. Ruka asks about her plans for her upcoming date with Kenny (“I didn’t realize it was at night,” he says, trying to act all nonchalant), and the pair scooch closer to each other as they share pictures of motorcycles on their phones. In walks Risako, who is definitely not happy with what’s developing in front of her. When Haruka leaves the room, Risako jumps at the chance to get closer to Ruka by confiding in him. She’s decided to focus on pursuing parkour professionally because she “wants to make a living doing the work I love,” and she asks Ruka what he wants to do with his life. “I want to be a hero,” he answers in the dreamy tone of Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in “Titanic,” which gets Tori-chan and Yama-chan swooning and seething (respectively) in the commentator’s viewing room.

Next up, Haruka and Kenny go on their date but it doesn’t go well at all. Haruka brings up the fact that she and Ruka share an interest in motorcycles, to which Kenny replies, “What’s a Harley?” This results in a long silence from Haruka. Strike one. And even though she talked to him about her last relationship at length before, Kenny admits he may not have been listening carefully because he doesn’t remember the conversation. Steeeeerike two. Then Kenny, a musician and illustrator, says he mostly dates people in the same industry as him, whereas Haruka (a model) is against it. Ouch, strike three.

Back at the house, Risako makes a series of bold moves to win Ruka’s affections. She literally puts herself in his hands, getting him to pierce her ear with a needle. To Ruka’s credit, he takes it in stride and even flirts back, telling her over a plate of gyōza (dumplings) that she appeared in his dreams again. Then he suggests another outing. Dinner turns into a few giggly rounds of the card game Speed, and then Risako ups the ante: The winner gets to choose a promise the loser has to keep for life. Conveniently, Ruka loses, and what’s Risako’s demand? To hang out with her forever, even after they leave “Terrace House.” Ruka accepts somewhat hesitantly, but it’s not enough … Risako blurts out, “Date me.” Did anyone else’s jaw drop as far as mine did? Boom! And the credits roll.

Oh, and I think Kaori was in this episode for like a minute? Sorry, girl, this is “The Risako Show” now.

We need to talk about Risako

Tom: So what happened in that ending?! Ruka and Risako are playing Speed and talking, when Risako makes Ruka promise to be her friend forever. She literally says, “Isshō asonde” (“Hang out with me forever”). Then, out of nowhere, she blurts out, “Date me.” Girl, stop! I have no idea what Risako is doing.

Alyssa: I thought the ending was sweet! It’s clear that Risako knew she had to act fast if she wanted to get between Ruka and Haruka, especially after seeing them on the couch. The whole progression of asking him to pierce her ear, making gyōza for dinner and then playing Speed with a little Truth or Dare thrown in seemed pretty orchestrated, but I felt for her.

Tom: Ruka probably likes Haruka because she is cool and effortless. Risako throwing herself at him is probably coming off as a little clingy. She was so great when she politely teased him about the “plain” pancakes and was amazing when she nursed him back to health. Now she’s spilling her guts and I have no idea how Ruka will react. Don’t drink and play Speed, kids.

Alyssa: Crushes can make you a little reckless and her love of parkour proves that the girl has guts. She clearly can’t help liking him, especially when she’s got a rival for his attention. It was a risky move to blurt out “date me” — that kind of confession usually takes several episodes of build-up — but I love that she surprised me.

The Japan Times is posting weekly recaps of “Terrace House Tokyo 2019-2020.” Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section. New episodes of “Terrace House Tokyo 2019-2020” stream on Netflix on Tuesdays, on Fuji TV on Demand (FOD) from June 11th on Tuesdays, and will air on Fuji TV from July.

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